Concerns over housing project

Representatives of the various role players involved in the Goodwood social housing project.
The first phase of a R380 million social housing project in Goodwood and phase one of the project could be finished by October next year, but some civic leaders fear its long-term impact on the community.
Human Settlements Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo and MEC  Provincial MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela launched the multi-million rand social housing project with a sod-turning ceremony last week.

Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka, a spokeswoman for Mr Madikizela, said the two-phase project would have more than 1 055 rental housing opportunities. 

“Phase one of the project will yield 317 units and is expected to be completed in October next year,” she said.

The project is a collaboration by the national and provincial departments of Human Settlements, the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA), the City of Cape Town and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

“DCI Community Housing Services (DCI CHS) has been tasked with packaging and development of this project. It will provide much-needed housing opportunities for previously disadvantaged low-income earners in Goodwood, Ruyterwacht and surrounding areas,” Ms Makoba-Somdaka said.

According to Mr Madikizela, this type of partnership will be for people earning between R1 500 and R15 000 a month.
“The development will consist of six-storey apartment blocks on both sides of the railway line and offer units ranging from a bachelor’s flat to two-bedroom flats,” he said.
“A lot has been said about the inner-city development and what is being done about it. Just along this railway line, we have a massive project that was launched a few weeks ago. It is called the Better Living Model. We will be applying to SHRA for 600 rental units on the first phase. We also have a number of inner-city developments not far from Goodwood and others are in Woodstock,” he said.
Ms Mfeketo said the project was part of a push to densify settlements near public transport.

“transsocial housing projects not only affords
fellow South Africans accommodation but also presents an opportunity
to address the unique needs that arise from the dynamic nature of
modern urbanisation.

This gives residents easy access to employment opportunities in the retail precinct or other opportunities across the city,” she said.
But John Ross, Goodwood Community Police Forum chairman said the train station housing development’s 1 050 units could put more than 4 000 people into a suburb battling to maintain services.

“With Voortrekker Road already a major problem with prostitution and drugs, we are concerned about the impact this will have on crime levels.”

Apart from adding to traffic congestion, the  project could drive up crime, he warned.

“Our police station is not equipped to absorb any further strain. We hope that the authorities have taken all the factors into account before taking this decision,” he said

Faizel Petersen, chairman of the Goodwood Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, said he doubted whether there had been adequate public consultation about the housing project.
“To the community’s knowledge, there was no public participation process held particularly with the ratepayers and residents, who I represent,” he said.